Hey guys, welcome back. Wow, what a game in New York last weekend! You hear it all the time, but it really is hard to win on the road in this league and I am so proud of our defense for their performance against the Jets; that was awesome. I feel like our offense is right there, we just have to get over that hump and get on a roll, which I think we will really soon.
I mentioned last week how I wanted to cover the topic of hunting this week in the blog. I know that hunting in all of its variations is immensely popular across the state, and that soon enough Lambeau Field will be filled with blaze orange hunting suits on Sunday afternoons. Whether it’s deer, pheasants or turkeys it seems like people across the state love to get out and track game, regardless of the temperatures.
My favorite places to go hunting – or attempt to go hunting – are the Pembine and Crivitz areas in the northern reaches of the state. These areas rank up there for me because they remind me so much of home. As we’ve discussed previously in the blog, there are plenty of times when you can find the best attractions in the most unexpected places, with Pembine and Crivitz being perfect examples. The Peshtigo River has a great stretch of continuous rapids on which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed whitewater rafting.
Every year I try and take a day or two in between my busy practice schedule and games to go with teammates and friends on a two-hour journey to the Northwoods. As some of you might know, most hunting stories are always dramatically exaggerated from reality, but one of my favorite stories surrounds more of the composite failure of the hunt than any great triumph.
A few years ago, my buddy Tony Moll, along with a few other of my former Packers teammates, planned a guys-only turkey hunt on a friend’s property in Pembine. The camaraderie and company of the trip was awesome, and we actually turned the whole thing into more of a mini vacation than an actual hunting trip. We were able to get in a round of golf, and even some time out on the water to go fishing in a span of 36 hours. I think that speaks to our overall dedication to the hunt.
Sad as it may seem, during our day-and-a-half hunting trip, we didn’t see a single turkey, which really isn’t surprising when I think back on the amount of noise we made in the woods. On the way home, the ironic part was that we saw a large group of turkeys near my house in Howard and we all looked at each other and thought, “What was the point of driving all the way up there when the turkeys were right here in our backyard?”
I think the best laugh we had on that trip was when Jason Spitz, the self proclaimed best shot on the team, thought he was going to impress all of us as “Mr. Turkey Hunter” and try to get one on his own. He woke up at 5 a.m., hours before the rest of us, and ended up returning to the cabin covered in ticks. It seemed like we spent more time digging ticks out of his hair and clothing than we did in the woods hunting turkeys that day.
As I said, the Pembine and Crivitz areas are great places to not only go hunting, but to spend a weekend vacationing. The people in the northern part of the state are down to earth and are always welcoming to visitors.
I also have to share a story from my younger days that shows my whitetail deer hunting expertise. I went with Craig Brandl and Ray Seefeldt, the father of a high school friend of mine who was a serious hunter. At the end of the day, I was getting tired and bored from not seeing any deer, and decided it would be a good idea to take one shot at a squirrel that had just run by. Sure enough, I missed. Judging by the sound of the gun shot, Ray arrived at the hunting cabin later that day and told all the guys that I had shot at a monster buck. To this day, I haven’t had the heart to tell him that I was shooting at a squirrel. When I arrived back at the hunting cabin they all asked me how big the buck was, and because I was embarrassed to tell them the truth, I said, “Oh yeah, it was huge, but it was about 200 yards away, and I just missed him.”
Truth be told, the northern parts of Wisconsin are quality hunting grounds for all sorts of game – turkeys, whitetail deer, and bears among other animals. I think the real reason hunters travel hours and hours to Wisconsin’s Northwoods is more for the camaraderie with family and friends, and a sense of escape and tranquility rather than taking home a monster prize. Anyone who has been on that sort of trip can relate to what I am talking about.
All right, that is going to do it for this week’s entry, hopefully some of you hunters and prospective hunters out there enjoyed the read. Next week, I’ll delve into a behind the scenes look at Lambeau Field. Until then, wish us luck against Dallas.